For the first time ever, scientists have sequenced the genome of the world’s tallest land species, the giraffe. Surprisingly, this majestic creature required only a small handful of mutations to attain its remarkable physical stature and physiology—but these mutations packed an evolutionary punch.
As a breed, labrador retrievers often have serious food-related issues—a behavioral quirk that often leads to over-eating and canine obesity. Researchers have finally figured out why, and the answer could influence the way we treat human obesity.
Researchers working near the Mariana Trench have captured footage of a jellyfish that boggles the imagination.
Ants are amazing at co-operation, using their bodies to form parts of chains, ladders, walls, and even rafts. A new study shows that the rafts built by ants are surprisingly well organized, the product of specialized skills and complex memorization tasks.
The strikingly beautiful Saharan silver ant is capable of withstanding some of the most extreme temperatures on the planet. New research shows that their silver sheen serves as a heat-repellent system, reflecting incoming sunlight like a prism.
In a scene eerily reminiscent of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, an escaped chimpanzee sought refuge on the power lines of a Japanese suburb. The chimp was eventually subdued after a frantic two-hour police chase, but you have to wonder: Why didn’t he get zapped by the power lines? Here’s the answer.
Researchers working off the coast of Panama have captured unprecedented footage showing thousands of red crabs swarming together in the oxygen-deprived waters just above the seafloor.
Trap-jaw spiders hunt by sneaking up on their prey and rapidly snapping their mandibles shut, but scientists weren’t entirely sure about the mechanics involved. Using high-speed video, researchers from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History have chronicled just how these spiders manage such an impressive…
In 1820, a sperm whale attacked and sank the Essex, a whaling ship from Massachusetts. The incident inspired Herman Melville to write Moby Dick, and marine biologists have been wondering ever since if the whales actually engage in ramming behavior. A fascinating new study suggests this may be the case.
Very few animals are capable of recognizing themselves in the mirror. New research suggests that manta rays are capable of this unique cognitive feat—a possible sign that these fish are self-aware.
Storks used to be majestic creatures, but now, they are trash birds. That is the conclusion of ornithologists at the University of East Anglia, who have confirmed that white storks are abandoning their normal migratory pattern in droves, instead choosing to nest at landfills and eat our garbage year round.
Spiders are notorious for their bizarre and often violent mating practices. New research shows that, in order to avoid getting eaten during sex, male nursery spiders will tie up their partners with silken threads. And yes, it’s as horrible as it sounds.
Some animals are capable of magnetoreception—an added sense that helps them detect magnetic fields. European scientists have now learned that the molecule responsible for this trait is also found in the eyes of dogs and some primates, which suggests they too might be capable of seeing magnetic fields.
A team of ornithologists were working on a small Moroccan island when they observed some rather bizarre behavior in adult falcons. The raptors appeared to be imprisoning tiny birds in the crevasses of rocks in an effort to keep them fresh for a later meal.
You’ve probably watched enough Animal Planet to know that humpback whales communicate using clicks and whistles. But put on a pair of headphones and listen to the video above. Beneath the shrill chatter we’ve all heard before, there’s a much lower-pitched tone, eerily reminiscent of a human heartbeat.
In a world’s first, researchers from the US and UK have created an impression of a submerged human as recorded by a dolphin’s echolocation.
To do it, a team led by Jack Kassewitz of SpeakDolphin.com used an imaging system known as a Cymascope. The system, developed by John Stuart Reid (who also assisted with the…
Water bears, known to scientists as tardigrades, are famously adorable microscopic creatures who can survive anything: freezing, total dehydration, radiation bombardment, and even the vacuum of deep space. Now scientists have sequenced a tardigrade genome, and are very surprised by the results.
So you’ve probably seen that viral video showing cats having the bejeezus scared out of them by a particularly snake-like vegetable: the lowly cucumber. Hilarious, right? Sure—if you’re a human. As a veterinary technician points out, this trending activity could cause lasting psychological problems for your feline…
For the first time ever, scientists have documented the elaborate tap dancing courtship displays of cordon-bleu songbirds. Invisible to the naked eye, these birds execute their rapid-fire steps in as little as 20 milliseconds.
A film crew working off the coast of Victoria, British Columbia, has captured remarkable footage of a transient killer whale using its tail to launch a Pacific harbor seal some 80 feet (20 meters) into the air.